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"Serious Bridge Building Needed" Says Harawira

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Hone Harawira
Hone Harawira

Wellington, Nov 17 NZPA - Controversial MP Hone Harawira has again stressed his determination to stay with the Maori Party, but admits "serious bridge building" is needed.

Mr Harawira has stepped out of the spotlight after his infamous "white motherf...kers" email was made public, and there was no sign of him at a Maori Party caucus meeting this morning.

In his Northland Age column today, Mr Harawira admitted the email had caused a lot of political damage to himself and let down his party.

"I recognise there needs to be some serious bridge building on my part with my caucus colleagues, and I will be doing so over the next weeks."

Mr Harawira said he did not intend leaving his party, despite the party and others suggesting he should do so. His leaders have asked him to take time off.

Prime Minister John Key said today if Mr Harawira left the party and became independent it would have no impact on the National Government as it had brought the Maori Party on board as part of a willing partnership rather than out of necessity.

Political damage done by Mr Harawira's comments was minimal because the Maori Party had made it clear it didn't support them.

"In the end this is an issue for Maori Party leadership to deal with, and I think they're doing their best in very difficult circumstances," he told reporters.

He said Mr Harawira's Tai Tokerau electorate needed to decide whether there was still a place for him in Parliament.

"The reality is that there are lots of people in Parliament who have quite extreme views, and who are quite colourful characters, and if we are going to exclude from Parliament people who say things we don't like, then it's going to be a very interesting Parliament."

Mr Key said the "vast bulk" of New Zealanders would not have been supportive of the comments which got Mr Harawira into hot water.

Meanwhile, Buddy Mikaere, who received the offending email and made it public, said he didn't regret doing so.

He told The New Zealand Herald he released it after Mr Harawira challenged him to.

The offensive comments were in response to an email Mr Mikaere sent questioning the way Mr Harawira skipped off to Paris while on a parliamentary visit to Brussels.

The reply was: "White motherf...kers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit?"

Mr Mikaere told the paper he considered Mr Harawira was not fit to be an MP.

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